Statewide unemployment rate at 9 percent in January

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — More people resuming their job search and entering the workforce pushed the January 2013 unemployment rate to 9 percent, according to preliminary data released March 7 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). One year ago, the rate was 9.1 percent. Employers added 7,100 jobs in January 2013.

An economic recovery naturally includes monthly up-and-down movement in the unemployment rate as individuals suspend and renew their job search,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell. “As cuts from sequestration are implemented during the next few months, we will have a better idea on how federal fiscal policy will impact Illinois.”

Illinois added 222,100 private-sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines. Leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (plus 87,600); Education and Health Services (plus 55,800); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (plus 43,000). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 26,300.

In January 2013, the number of unemployed individuals increased by 22,900 (plus 4 percent) to 594,800. Total unemployed has fallen 157,400 (minus 20.9 percent) since early 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.3 percent for the months of January and February.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000.

January local data will be released March 14. The unemployment rate was 11.2 percent in the Rockford metro area in December 2012, the second-highest of the state’s 12 metro areas. The nationwide unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in January.

February statewide data will be released March 21. February local data will be released March 28. March statewide data will be released April 18.

More than 100,000 help-wanted ads are on, the IDES employment website that links job-seekers with employers. The keyword matching technology increases the likelihood of a successful new hire and compares favorably to private efforts that cost hundreds of dollars for a single advertisement. No-cost HR recruitment services are available at the website and at (877) 342-7533.

Posted March 7, 2013

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